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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Honduras registers lowest homicide rate in 16 years in 2022

Honduras closed the year 2022 with a homicide rate of 35.79 per 100,000 inhabitants, the lowest in 16 years in one of the most violent countries in the world, the Security Secretariat reported Sunday.

In addition, the security report for the first year of President Xiomara Castro’s administration highlights the extradition of outgoing ex-governor Juan Orlando Hernandez to the United States for drug trafficking on April 21.

“Since 2006, the country had not registered such a low number of homicides,” states a communiqué from the state entity.

The drop in homicides was achieved by “the implementation of new security strategies,” it adds.

According to the statistics, a total of 1,371 gang members were captured, and 307 criminal gangs dedicated to drug sales, drug dealing, extortion and other crimes were dismantled.

It also states that 44 of the country’s 298 municipalities registered zero homicides “thanks to the implementation of preventive, dissuasion, control and operational actions that have strengthened citizen security”.

Likewise, the report indicates that in 2022 “12 arrest warrants were issued for extradition at the request of the United States Department of Justice, among them the former president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, and (the) former director of the National Police, Juan Carlos Bonilla“.

On July 27, Honduras also extradited to the United States Herlinda Bobadilla, 61, the leader of a clan of alleged drug traffickers, who will be put on trial in a Virginia court.

The United States is seeking the extradition of the members of the family clan and has offered rewards of US$5 million for each of them. They are accused of supplying drugs and laundering drug trafficking profits through Central America, Colombia, Mexico and the United States, according to Washington.

However, the case with the greatest impact was the extradition of the former president accused of exporting 500 tons of cocaine to the United States between 2004 and 2022. His brother, Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez, was sentenced to life in prison in March 2021.

Criminal violence in Honduras is mostly linked to drug traffickers and gang members who have led the Central American nation to register this homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants, four times the world average.

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